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A Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel


A Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780385342322
ISBN10: 0385342322
Condition: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Meredith, September 20, 2011 (view all comments by Meredith)
With each new book, I love Flavia more and more! Flavia is a living, breathing girl, hilarious and smart as a whip. As a first-rate detective and, as she notes, 11-year-olds seem to be invisible to most adults, she has a remarkable perspective on life in her family and in her village. I can't wait for the next book to arrive in November!
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Joani, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Joani)
This, the third book in the Flavia De Luce Mysteries series, is wonderfully intriguing and mysterious. I had a roaring good time following Flavia through her murder investigations and uncovering clues with her. In 'A Red Herring Without Mustard' Flavia must solve an attempted murder and a murder that both happen within a short time and very near to one another, yet with no obvious connection. And then there is the long buried mystery of the missing child, which seems to play a part in all the madness, but how? As always, the people in the town of Bishop's Lacey have secrets to hide, and, as always, Flavia will not rest until she exposes said secrets.
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Gypsi, March 21, 2011 (view all comments by Gypsi)

A Red Herring Without Mustard is the third in Bradley's series about the precocious Flavia de Luce, a pre-teen chemistry savant growing up in a small English village in the 1950's. Flavia is an engaging character, and she charmed me immediately when I read her first adventure, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The novels are told from Flavia's point of view, and her voice is at once amusing and real. Her appeal has not diminished in this third novel, and it is pure reading pleasure to see what mischief she will create.

In A Red Herring Without Mustard, Flavia finds yet another dead body and sets off to solve the mystery before her frenemies from the police can. As is usual with Flavia, she withholds evidence, generally gets in the way and succeeds in a spectacular manner.

The tension between Flavia and her sisters heats up considerably in this novel. Not having siblings myself, I don't know if it's typical to be quite as brutal in pranks and revenge as the de Luce sisters are. It is funny at times, but also very sad as these girls react in various ways to growing older without their mother. Flavia's relationship with her father begins to subtly change, a very welcome development, and makes for some beautiful moments.

I did have two qualms about A Red Herring Without Mustard. First, was the location of a certain bit of the theft. (I think I can safely say that without spoiling any of the plot.) It was difficult for me to believe that anyone would choose a location with such a high chance of being seen, where one so obviously did not belong. For me, this weakened the plot a bit, but there was enough strengths that I could overlook it relatively easily.

My second concern is the number of dead bodies that Flavia keeps finding. If she finds one a book, it won't be long before the entire village is dead. And if, as has been the case, Bradley keeps bringing in characters from out of town to kill, the series will quickly loose both it's appeal and it's validity. The similarity between A Red Herring Without Mustard and The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, for instance, is rather great (Flavia befriends a stranger from out of town and solves a new character's murder) on the surface. One wonders if perhaps Flavia might not need to take a vacation from corpses and turn to general crime instead?

Overall, A Red Herring Without Mustard is a charming, "cozy" mystery that invokes the feeling of different time and place in such a way as to make me want to visit. Flavia is an endearing heroine and, despite my mild complaints, I look forward to reading her adventures and following her as she grows up and matures.

Note: This is the third in the series and to get full enjoyment from it, the series should be read in order.
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jscholni, March 20, 2011 (view all comments by jscholni)
Another entertaining page-turner with the precocious Flavia De Luce. Plenty of red herrings until the end.
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Product Details

Bradley, Alan
Delacorte Press
Bradley, Alan
Mystery & Detective - General
Mystery-A to Z
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7.7 x 5.1 x 1.3 in .9 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Historical
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Sale Books

A Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel Used Hardcover
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$9.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Delacorte Press - English 9780385342322 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Bradley's outstanding third Flavia de Luce mystery set in post-WWII rural England (after 2010's The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag), precocious 11-year-old Flavia de Luce and her family pursue their different interests. Flavia's widowed father, Col. Haviland de Luce, has his philately; 17-year-old sister Ophelia ('Feely'), her music; and 13-year-old sister Daphne ('Daffy'), her books. Flavia's escape is the old, elaborately equipped chemistry lab installed by her late great-uncle, Tarquin de Luce, in their Buckshaw estate. Flavia's discovery of an old Gypsy woman who's been attacked in her wagon sends the girl off on an investigation that will reveal more of Buckshaw's secrets as well as new information about Harriet, the mother Flavia never knew. In this marvelous blend of whimsy and mystery, Flavia manages to operate successfully in the adult world of crimes and passions while dodging the childhood pitfalls set by her sisters. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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